Augmented reality (AR) brings concepts to life by implementing virtual graphics over real-life imagery – a kind of graphical supplement to the real world. As this infographic by Active Media Innovations shows, the technology can take a number of guises from a simple webcam-enabled PC to AR wearables.

Australia ranks highly in terms of research in AR technology, with Australasia believed to host at least a dozen of the world’s leading research organisations in this area.

While it may not have cracked the mainstream just yet, there are plenty of areas in which the technology can (and is) employed. Augmented reality can be a boon to retailers trying to enhance the clothes fitting process both offline and on. It also present many opportunities for marketers. But what about elsewhere?

In the construction industry, one example of how AR is used is to bring an incomplete project to life. For example, when users hold their device’s screen in front of a project floorplan to reveal a 3D image of what the site will look like.

Even in medicine, augmented reality is seen as having a range of applications – such as helping remote surgeons to guide in-theatre teams through complex medical procedures, or aiding the visually impaired to recognise objects or people more clearly through the use of AR glasses.

This infographic looks at a range of possible applications for the technology, often appearing in unlikely places.

Infographic: The potential of augmented reality